Hurricane Irma has moved out of the state of Florida. Damage has been reported to the power lines, telephone lines and hydroelectric power plants. The hurricane has currently been reclassified to a tropical storm. In the meantime, Hurricane José has definitively turned away from the island states of the Caribbean.
The Italian Consulate General in Miami is operational and supporting, in conjunction with the Embassy in Washington D.C., Italian nationals in Florida and anyone returning from the Caribbean Islands transiting through the U.S. territory. To this end, an Italian 'operational cell' has been set up in Puerto Rico, made up by the Honorary Consul [mobile phone: 3053363566] and the Consular Correspondent [mobile phone: 7876139245].
The Farnesina's Crisis Unit, in conjunction with our diplomatic offices in Paris, The Hague and London, is in close contact with the British, French and Dutch authorities. The aim is to provide any type of support to Italian tourists who might find themselves in the Caribbean overseas territories and who intend to depart while basic facilities and air and maritime connections are being restored.
The Italian diplomatic missions to Cuba, Santo Domingo, Panama (for Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis, Haiti) and Venezuela (for The Netherlands Antilles) are operational and can provide support to Italian citizens on site and at secondary locations, while international connections are eventually returning to normal conditions
In general, the directions are for our nationals are to comply with the guidelines given by local authorities, which are dedicated to ensuring public order and providing assistance to the injured and the people affected, and done in compliance with a priority list established to guarantee effective assistance.
The guidelines regarding specific countries are regularly updated and may be consulted at viaggiaresicuri.it
For a complete list of the contacts at the Italian diplomatic-consular network, click here.
What follows is a an update of the situation in the islands that have most severely been affected:
ST MARTIN AND ST BARTHELEMY (FRENCH ANTILLES)
On the French side of the island, air and maritime connections have been reinstated.
In conjuction and constantly in contact with the Crisis Unit, the French authorities are facilitating the departure of anyone intending te leave the island. An info-point has been set up at the Grand-Case airport.
The most common destination of departing flights is Martinique, where French authorities have organised a support service. In Martinique there is also a "Italian operational cell" coordinated by the Consular Correspondent: Mobile: 00596696415342
Tel: 00596596705475 / 00596596718038
Regarding other possible regional destinations that may be reached from St. Martin, French authorities have confirmed there are safe and operable conditions for all the infrastructure in Guadeloupe.
The Prefecture in Guadeloupe and French authorities have activated telephone numbers- 00590596393600, 0800000971 and 01820337- for information on the situation in the territories of Guadeloupe, Saint Martin, Sant Barthélemy; info is also available on the Twitter account @Prefet971.
The Prefecture in Guadeloupe has also activated the following e-mail addresses herbegement-irma@guadeloupe.
In Guadeloupe, the Farnesina has set up an Italian "operational cell" which can be contacted in case of transit difficulties: Emergency number 00590690929927; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The airport of Saint Barthelemy is now operational for commercial flights. Connections from Saint Martin and Saint Barthelemy are now in the process of being reinstated.
Further actions have been planned for the resumption of the regular operability of power and telephone lines on both islands.
SINT MAARTEN (THE NETHERLANDS ANTILLES)
Dutch authorities are now committed to providing emergency support to the population on the island affected by Hurricane Irma, including the arrival of food and medicines and operations to ensure public order. Hurricane Jose has not caused any further damage to the infrastructure, thus enabling more expeditious work to resume the operability of essential facilities, including the Queen Juliana airport (which will be closed to commercial air traffic until the end of September) and the port facilities. The air-borne evacuation of people with medical urgencies has been completed.
A meeting point has been set up at the Queen Juliana airport in order to facilitate the departures of tourists intending to leave the island. A humanitarian flight to Aruba has been scheduled for 16 September 2017, giving priority to the ill, tourists and non-residents. Anyone interested may go to the airport as of 8:00 a.m. with a valid travel ID document. Only one piece of luggage will be allowed. Animals will not be allowed to embark.
The Port of Sint Maarten has scheduled from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., on 15 September 2017, the departure of the Royal Caribbean Majesty of the Seas vessel, bound for Puerto Rico, for anyone intending to leave the island. Further information is available via Radio Laser 101.1 FM and on the Facebook page Facebook.com/portstmaarten.
In Curaçao, where a regional emergency centre has been set up, there is an “Italian operational cell”:
Bellissimaweg 16, Willemstad
Contact: Debora Pruneti-Rosentand
Assistance to Italian nationals transiting in St Maarten will be ensured by the Farnesina's Crisis Unit and Italy's Consulate General in Maracaibo, in conjunction with the Dutch authorities on the Island of Curacao.
BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS
The British RFA Mounts Bay ship has provided emergency support at Anguilla and is currently stationed on the Virgin Islands. Military and civilian reinforcement teams, coordinated by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, are scheduled to arrive.
At the moment, the priority is to provide humanitarian aid to the people affected and to those injured by ensuring public order and reinstating essential services, along with the organisation of scheduled departures for foreign aliens on the islands.
The condition of the infrastructure, including airport facilities, is critical. Telephone communications are still difficult and intermittent.
Any notification regarding the presence of Italian citizens on the islands has been entrusted to the British authorities, who are in close contact with the Farnesina's Crisis Unit. At the moment, there have been no reports of Italian victims or injured, but a cross-check is being carried out with all information sources available. Along with the Italian Crisis Unit operation room (0636225), there is a telephone line service set up by the British authorities at +44 (0) 20 7008 0000 for anyone requesting information about their family members.
The Italian Consulate General in Miami, in conjunction with the Crisis Unit, and via the Italian Consular Correspondent on site, is ensuring the coordination of assistance to Italian nationals intending to leave the islands with available transport means.
The U.S. authorities have organised flights to/from Tortola Airport. Coordination actions have been designed with the U.S. to enable the boarding of Italian citizens when seats are available, and to identify on the spot instances that require priority.
ANTIGUA and BARBUDA
Following the passing of Hurricanes Irma and Jose, the situation in Antigua is now returning to normal.
Tourist flights have been regularly resumed. Tourists are, however, alerted to check with their tour operators about the situation at their destination, in compliance with the measures taken by local authorities.
The situation in Barbuda is still critical, as the island was directly hit by Hurricane 'Irma', which caused considerable damage to houses and infrastructure on the island.
Updated on 15 September 2017, 2:00 p.m.